Progression of Atherosclerosis3

1. Healthy artery

2. Plaque (made up of calcium, fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the blood) forms in the lining of the artery

3. Plaque collects, restricting arterial blood flow

4. Plaque ruptures, forming blood clots and limiting blood flow

Risk Factors

Risk for CAD and MI increases with the number of risk factors a patient has. For patients with known or suspected CAD, certain factors can be controlled through lifestyle modifications or treatment. Age, sex, and family history cannot be changed.1

Fixed Risk Factors1

  • Age (≥45 years in men and ≥55 years in women)
  • Sex (men may be at higher risk of obstructive CAD)
  • Family history of premature CAD (onset in a male relative before 55 years or a female relative before 65 years)

Manageable Risk Factors1

  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Diabetes and prediabetes
  • Smoking
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Hypertension
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Stress

These risk factors may be controlled to reduce risk for CAD and MI.1

Lifestyle Changes

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage stress
  • Quit smoking
  • Be physically active

Medical Treatment

  • Control cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Prevent blood clots